If you’ve ever seen Tim Sanders present, you’ll have seen a cool dude, a confident love-cat prowling the stage, sharing his knowledge, appearing un-troubled and un-burdened. Would you find it hard to believe that Tim once was not as he is now? I expect you would. But that’s exactly where he has been. In his words, he spent some time in his sideways years. His book, “Today we are Rich” sets out seven principles he learned, taught by his Grandma, Billye, that brought him back on track and to where he is now and he shares these principles with us.
Principle 1: Feed Your Mind Good Stuff
Tim’s first principle is to treat our minds like a machine. When we put poor fuel in a car we don’t get the performance we desire, if any. But if we give it high octane, we get the power. Feed your mind the same way. As Sanders says, when you ingest a piece of information, your mind goes to work, chewing on it, digesting it, and then converting it into a thought. When good stuff goes into your mind, good thoughts emerge.
[/lockercat]Tim suggests our thoughts also have an impact on our physical health. Our subconscious converts a negative thought into fear and stress and our body produces cortisol, the stress hormone. Over time, production of this hormone can lead to heart disease and digestive issues.What should we do? Like a food diet plan we need to monitor what we ingest. So for a few weeks we should log everything we are reading, listening to, or watching.
Record the source, the author and the tone of everything we take into our mind and note how much time we spent on it. We should also do this for people we spend time with. After some time, circle all the negative or useless information and influences you’ve “consumed” and highlight all the positive or helpful ones.Too many circles? Like bad foods we need cut these out and take in more of the positives that remain.
Tim tells us to read newspapers with a style that matches our output and objectives. Most important, he tells us to find and read good books. (Now where could we get more of those? Oh yes….Readitfor.me!) And don’t stop there. Rather than listening to ”junk” radio on your drive to work, take in a good audio book and make your drive a learning experience.
Principle 2: Move the Conversation Forward
Tim suggests that much of our life is spent in conversations with others. If the conversations move forward we progress. When they go sideways things get confusing and if they go backward you can guess what happens. Panic and negativity. He suggests we need to pull the information from our conversations into focus and to frame it in one of four ways:
- Good—either good for us or our interests;
- Neutral—having no direct effect on us or our interests;
- Action—information we need to respond to;
- Bad—information that has a negative effect on us or our interests.
Tim tells us to keep good information at the front of our mind. Not only for us to be able to take direct advantage but to use as a spirit li”er. For neutral throw it away. It doesn’t add any value. For negative recognize emotion that goes with it and learn from the experience. Of course, for those that are actionable just do it!We are reminded of the time tested piece of personal productivity advice never to touch a piece of paper on your desk more than twice.
Tim tells us the same principle should be applied to information taken in. We need to move the conversation forward and at the same time be positive.Tim tells us the key to positive conversations is to project our confident outlook by selecting the right words in the proper tone of voice.
We need to eliminate “weak” words and phrases from our personal vocabulary. And one of the most positive words we can use is yes. It evokes agreement and support as do its variants: certainly, absolutely, exactly and definitely.
Principle 3: Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle
Tim believes the difference between a grateful person and an ungrateful person lies in their perception: One sees a life of beauty; the other sees a life of lack. So how do we know when we should feel grateful? Easy. Anytime someone or something gives you a positive thought. Anytime someone or something makes us feel good.
The truth is, we deserve few, if any, of the things we’ve come to expect, wish for, or hanker a”er. Another way to find a gratitude focus is to ask ourselves what others would think about our current situation. Would they feel pity, or would they envy us?
Tim gives us a few pointers on how to exercise our gratitude muscle. Change our daily routine. Shop at different stores. Change the way to work. Shake things up at work too. Begin meetings at work with a statement of gratitude to the others involved, especially if we’ve been working together for some time.
We can use social media to do this as well, dedicating our status updates to thanking others for their contributions. If we have a grateful mind-set, we can turn our have-to’s into get-to’s. Many people complain because they “have to go to work today,” millions of unemployed people would be grateful for a job—any job—to get to.
Principle 4: Give to Be Rich
Tim suggests giving is a wonder drug. Nothing can withstand its healing powers. Giving requires a focus on other people’s needs, as well as on our own assets. This redirects our minds toward strengths and away from weaknesses. When we give to others, we receive a go” as well. When we are burned out or down, a little time spent helping others can often lift us backup.
When we need a break, Tim recommends a giving break instead. Help an associate, and he promises the next day we’ll have plenty of renewed energy to get back on top. But give for giving’s sake. Tim warns us when we give and expect a return, we are an investor.
When we give and expect public recognition in return, we are a self-promoter. When we give only for the love of giving, we are generous. We shouldn’t screen potential recipients for their usefulness; we should examine ourselves to see whether we can be useful to them.
Principle 5: Prepare Yourself
Abraham Lincoln is credited as having said, “If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first forty-five minutes sharpening my axe.” Tim Sanders says, like a newly sharpened axe, knowledge has the cut-through power to quickly move you from opportunity to achievement.
So how do we acquire knowledge? Tim’s tells us to get smart we’ll have to read more than we ever thought we would. We’ll need to think about what we’ve read and digest it into nuggets of insight. (Readitfor.me can help). We should read books that apply in the space we are in, the people, places, and things that occupy the industry we work or the role you have in life. As we read books, we should take notes as if we were still in college. We should carry books with us everywhere we go.
The second way, Tim recommends to get smart is to network, join forces with others to multiply our knowledge base. We should talk about the books we are reading, and share data we’ve discovered. Turn average water-cooler conversations into think tanks. Create lists of books we recommend for others.Tim’s third approach is what he calls “mentoring.”
This is the act of being a mentor to another person and having a mentor of our own at the same time. We can always learn by teaching. A menthe o”en brings real-world feedback or extra resources we didn’t already have. So get mentoring to grow.
Principle 6: Balance Your Confidence
Tim believes confidence is never about us alone. Total confidence requires a belief in ourselves, other people in our life, and in something greater than ourselves. When we possess all three of these beliefs, we’ll have a balanced confidence—something that can sustain us through uncertainties and difficulties.
Confidence in Self
Confident people have a sense of self-efficacy a belief that they are competent enough to successfully complete the task at hand. When we see ourselves as up for the challenge, we gain the faith and endurance to complete it. We have a self-image, whether or not we are aware of it. Others may attempt to dictate how we see ourselves, but in the end it’s our call. It’s up to us whether we live up to our potential.
Confidence in Others
Confidence in others requires a high level of trust – willing to let go of our control of a situation. To be more confident in another person, we need to make a conscious decision to be objective about how we picture him or her in your mind. When we believe in our team, our confidence soars, even when we experience personal setbacks. With our team members, we are not alone. And as our confidence in our team increases, we can delegate some authority, defer some tasks, and then let go.
Confidence in Your Faith
Essentially, when it comes to business, good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad companies. There is a guiding order to the way the world works. So, if we are running a business or selling a product and we are creating a worthy service or product, we should have faith that in the long run the market will reward our efforts. So how can we detect our higher purpose?
Tim tells us the best way is to start with our gifts: talents, tendencies, abilities, natural skills, or instincts. Everyone has a go”, something they can contribute. We need to ask ourselves, why do we do this? How does this affect others? When we are faithful to a purpose, we’ll have a sense of personal integrity. We’ll feel connected to something greater than ourselves, and through that connection, we’ll feel more powerful.
Principle 7: Promise Made, Promise Kept
Tim’s final principle is to keep our promises. Fulfill our commitments. Each time we do, we’ll feel a sense of personal victory. Finishing, especially in the face of adversity, gives a boost to our self-image and expands our limits of possibility. Tim advises if we make commitments and later break them, we confuse others about the kind of person we are.
The reason many promises aren’t kept is that they are treated as idle conversation. Most of the promises we don’t keep are broken out of a lack of persistence on our part. They are abandoned because of their unforeseen difficulty. So when we reach the emotional quit point, we should grit our teeth and go one step further, one more attempt, one more day.
As a rule, it’s a good idea never to offer a promise as a first response to a problem. Instead, we should ask a few questions to better our understanding of the situation before we act. And when we think we can’t deliver, we should say no every time, clearly spelling out why. A few final tips from Tim: once we make a promise, we should document it.
Otherwise it can slip between the cracks. We need to be clear about the time frame for delivery, and set realistic expectations. Start planning as soon as we confirm our promise and put the delivery deadline on our calendar. Finally, deliver the product of the promise directly to its intended recipient.
If we are willing to keep our word, no matter how futile it might seem or how difficult it may be, we will win friend and influence people. We will convince the skeptics and convert our detractors into our cheerleaders. Nice Smart People Succeed.[/lockercat]